Saturday, November 05, 2005

Stones Roll- OC Gets Banged!

The Rolling Stones brought their 'A Bigger Bang' world tour to Edison Field in Anaheim last night. Jagger, Richards, Wood and Watts rocked the house with the aid of a stunning stage show. While the Stones rifled through their 40 year catalogue of hits, outrageous lighting, fireworks and a huge video screen emphasized every anthem.

The multi-tiered stage featured several stories of scaffolding behind it. Inside this towering structure were innumerable stage lights, an area where fans could view the band from just feet away and on top, two huge flame throwers that erupted like dual volcanoes.

An energetic Jagger was in constant motion, at one point running end to end across the 60 yard wide stage like a teenager. Mick, who seemingly has more costume changes than Madonna, demonstrated a powerful and ageless voice throughout the show. Keith Richards seemed in good spirits, churning out tortured guitar licks and assuming lead vocals on a couple of tunes. The backing band included a four piece horn section, two keyboard players and a trio of back up singers.

The Stones played a few newer songs but the audience reserved it's highest praise for classics such as "Sympathy For The Devil", "Brown Sugar", "Paint It Black" and "Satisfaction". Between Stones originals, Mick dedicated the soulful, "Night Time Is the Right Time", to the man who made it great, the late Ray Charles.

During the middle of the show a large section of the stage, drum kit and all, rolled across the entire field as The Stones continued jamming atop it. For a few songs some of the worst seats in the stadium became the best, a treat for those who purchased seemingly geographically undesirable tickets.

The concert finale included the four original Stones taking a bow followed by the kind of celebratory fireworks show usually reserved for Independence Day. Not bad for a band whose demise was prematurely announced by many, more than two decades ago.

The Stones could easily rest on their laurels and still sell out every venue they care to play in. But their performance and elaborate production is proof that they still care about giving fans their money's worth.

- DJ Craig

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